Early Kingdoms and Empires

The Pagan Kingdom

Around the 840's people known as the Burma’s established the kingdom called Pagan located in a fertile Irrawaddy river valley. It was very good for rice and farming. The first King of the Pagan empire was Anawrahta he was ruler from 1044-1077. He conquered lots of territory and united lots of what is now Myanmar under his rule. By doing so he provided Pagan with access to trading ports and the kingdom really blossomed. They supported the Theravada Buddhism and built lots of Magnificent temples. Pagan was known for the center of Buddhist learning. All was going well in the Pagan empire until the late 1200's the mongols under the rule of Kublai Khan demanded tribute from Pagan. The king refused and fought back at the Mongols who then destroyed the Pagan empire. After the battle the Pagan king fled and his sons later found him and killed him then agreed to pay the tribute to the Mongols. They survived but then lost power. But the Pagan culture established principles that continue to influence their religion.

The Khmer Empire

The Khmer empire was located just south of Pagan. In the early 800's, the Khmer conquered kingdoms around them and began to build a great big empire. The biggest height of the empire was during the 850's-1200's. The Khmer empire reflected a strong Indian influence, they taught both Hindu and Buddhism beliefs. They also had lots of great temples built, the most well known temple was the Angkor wat. They had lots of money and were able to fund such impressive building projects. Their empire grew so much mainly because of their rice farming. The Khmer empire prospered but in time, costly building projects and invaders contributed to the decline of the empire.

The Trading Kingdom

An island by the name of Java, located to the south of the mainland flourished from 750-850. The people in the kingdom relied on agriculture and trade for their livelihood. The kingdom is mostly known for their impressive Buddhist architecture. In the center of the island was the wealthy Srivijaya. This empire started in the 600's The empire gained its wealthy from its control of the over sea traders in the Malacca and Sunda traits. Srivijaya worked very hard to ensure that trade continued to pass through their empire. They adopted Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. In 1025 an Indian Kingdom attacked the Srivija Empire. Although it survived it was greatly weakened, and other kingdoms grew more powerful reducing Srivija's control in trade. Malay Peninsula came to take over the trade in the region. Islam spread throughout the island of south east Asia. Muslim traders developed a stable trade network that was linked to other Muslim ports in Asia and Africa.



Most of southeast Asia was strongly influenced by India. Vietnam was strongly influenced by India. It was 111 BC the Han Dynasty conquered the kingom of Nam viet. The Chinese ruled the region for 1,000 years. They absorbed many aspects of the Chinese civilization, such as the language, the clothing, hairstyles. Confucianism and Doaism and they adopted many features of Chinese government as well. Vietnam embraced Mahayana Buddhism, and Buddhist art and architecture. They also maintained many of their own traditional customs. They worshiped natural spirits along side of other beliefs. In hopes of regaining their independence they would sometimes rebel when the Chinese rule grew weak. But the Chinese would usually regain control once again. Vietnam had another chance to regain their independence in the early 900's. When this time came they succeeded. In 939 the vietnamese established the independent kingdom of Dai viet. The Chinese failed to reconquer Vietnam. In the late 1200's the mongols invaded, but the Vietnamese defeated the Mongols and regained independence.